2011 GMC Canyon Review
The Canyon is an acceptable truck overall, but other compact pickup trucks outshine it in every category.
Most reviewers agree that while the GMC Canyon is a practical and useful truck, it is a lackluster offering when compared to the rest of its class. The Canyon’s underpowered four- and five-cylinder engines are its downfall, especially when coupled with its cheap, bare-bones interior. Reviewers like the optional V8, but its lower fuel economy negates the reason that many people choose a compact truck over a full-size. The Canyon is also pricey for the class, and when optioned it can cost almost as much as a full-size GMC truck. However, Edmunds thinks the Canyon is adequate, saying “like many lower-rated entries in the automotive marketplace, the 2011 GMC Canyon is still essentially a competent vehicle.”
Other Trucks to Consider
While reviewers say that the GMC Canyon is an adequate truck, you should also take a look at the Toyota Tacoma and the Nissan Frontier. Both trucks outshine the Canyon in every category, especially with their comfortable around-town drives and more car-like interiors. The Frontier costs about $700 more than the Canyon. The Tacoma starts out $680 less than the Canyon, and also tends to hold its value better over time.
The Suzuki Equator is also worth a look if the Nissan Frontier is on your list. The Equator is the twin of the Frontier, built side-by-side in the same factory, side-by-side. While the Equator starts about $600 more the Canyon's base price, it includes a longer powertrain warranty than the Frontier.
There are only three compact or midsize trucks that offer V8 engines, and the GMC Canyon and its near-twin the Chevrolet Colorado are the cheapest, both starting out a hair over $17,000. However, the Dodge Dakota, the only other midsize truck that offers a V8 is worth a look. It offers the most towing capability in the segment, as well as E85 flex-fuel option. However, the Dakota starts out over $6,000 more than the Canyon.
Details: GMC Canyon
The Canyon is available as a Regular Cab model, an Extended Cab, or as a Crew Cab. Buyers can chose between four-, five- or eight-cylinder engines. Changes for 2011 are few: redesigned the front seat headrests and the option to add Bluetooth and the latest version of OnStar. Aside from the addition of a V8 engine in 2009 and standard head curtain side airbags in 2010, the Canyon hasn't changed markedly since 2007, so this review uses data from earlier model years.
- "Canyon is a handsome light-duty pickup that looks good on paper. But out on the road or trail, where passenger comfort and refinement really count, it doesn't quite measure up." -- Edmunds
- "Perhaps the cheapest interior around, flimsy front seats, cramped rear seat in extended-cab models, thrashy base engine." -- Car and Driver